FARADAY ROAD FOOTBALL GROUND RENEWED AS AN ASSET OF COMMUNITY VALUE
Newbury Town Council’s application to renew the Faraday Road Football Ground as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) was approved by West Berkshire Council on the 20th of September.
The Panel noted that this site has been regularly used by the community since 1963 for Football as well as social gatherings, charity events and club meetings and determined that: ‘it is reasonable to think that there could be community use of the site within the next 5 years’, therefore the application for an ACV renewal should be approved.
The Panel also noted the ‘strong community support from Newbury Community Football Group CIC and Newbury Town Council for the site to reopen for football uses, and there is evidence of previous planning applications relating to both the football pitch and replacement of the clubhouse and stand, which demonstrates intent and indeed one planning application was supported by a petition of over 2000 people’.
It also acknowledged that, ‘although the site has been closed for three years, it is still designated as a football ground with no change of use having taken place’. Although it had not been possible to access to the site to assess the state of the pitch, it was the Panel’s view that ‘this could readily be brought back into use with relatively minor works’.
What this ACV status means is that before the sale of the land takes place, any community interest group is permitted to have up to six weeks to confirm whether or not they wish to be treated as a potential bidder. If notice is received, then they have a further six months in order to formulate and submit their bid.
Newbury Town Council’s position in regard to football in Newbury is that we are looking to “provide a suitable football facility for Newbury’s Men’s, Ladies and Youth teams to play football at an equivalent or better standard than the old ground provided [at Faraday Road]. This should be within the Newbury settlement area, with good walking and cycling access to the town centre, good public transport links and adequate parking. Inability to provision a suitable alternative site should result in the ground on Faraday Road being returned to its former standard or being redeveloped to an even better standard, with 3G pitches providing higher availability for matches and training.”
The Town Council welcomes the District Council’s decision to renew the Football Ground as an Asset of Community Value as we do not believe any like-for-like replacement has come forward.
Cllr Vaughan Miller said, “This is a great validation of the Town Council’s fight to get a suitable football ground for Newbury Men’s, Ladies and Youth teams within the Newbury settlement area, or otherwise returned to its Newbury ‘Home’ at Faraday Road.
Some of our youth football clubs are having to search the whole county to find football pitches for their teams.
He continued, “I know one Newbury club whose U16s team are having to play their games at Theale and have other teams playing at Ecchinswell and Inkpen, with the manager being driven
to despair trying to find pitches for his teams. This is a lot of extra travel for their parents and not great for the climate either.
I therefore call once again on WBC to do the right thing and make the Faraday Road Community Football Ground available as soon as possible for organised football, at the very least to youth teams, so that they can play their games at home in Newbury until a suitable replacement is operational.”
Cllr Martin Colston, Leader of the Council Martin.firstname.lastname@example.org
Cllr Vaughan Miller Vaughan.email@example.com 07810 543425
Hugh Peacocke, CEO Hugh.Peacocke@newbury.gov.uk 01635 35486